R.J. Hunter

NBA rookies impersonate Kobe Bryant, Allen Iverson, Matthew Dellavedova and more

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Brandon Armstrong (see here, here, here, here and here) isn’t the only one who can impersonate NBA players.

SB Nation fantastically asked NBA rookies to imitate other players. With all due respect to R.J. Hunter impersonating Matthew Dellavedova, both Nick Young imitations – by Kelly Oubre and Frank Kaminsky – take the cake.

Report: Lakers sign undrafted forward Jonathan Holmes to training camp deal

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The bottom of the Lakers’ roster is shaping up to be interesting. They have 12 guaranteed contracts and three spots open, and so far they’ve been stacking intriguing prospects. They had talented but troubled center Robert Upshaw at Summer League, and now they’ve signed undrafted University of Texas big man Jonathan Holmes, according to RealGM’s Shams Charania:

Before the draft, Holmes was DraftExpress’ 24th-rated prospect, appearing alongside players who ended up being first-round picks, including Justin Anderson and R.J. Hunter. He played on the Celtics’ Summer League team and drew rave reviews, including this from ESPNBoston.com’s Chris Forsberg:

Steady but quiet during Boston’s three-game stint in Utah last week, Holmes seems to have found his groove in Vegas. He posted 15 points and seven rebounds during Saturday’s win over the Portland Trail Blazers in the Celtics’ Vegas opener.

On Sunday, he showcased his range, connecting on a trio of 3-point attempts while finishing 5-of-10 shooting overall from the floor. Holmes added a block and an assist and was plus-9 in plus/minus.

It’s unlikely that any of these guys will get real minutes for the Lakers if they make the team, but second-round pick Jordan Clarkson was a pleasant surprise last year, and there’s nothing to say Holmes can’t also make an impact if he makes the roster.

Celtics second-rounder Marcus Thornton signs in Australia

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One Marcus Thornton signed with the Rockets.

The other – the Celtics’ No. 45 pick in the 2015 NBA draft, not the six-year NBA veteran – is headed to Australia.

Sydney Kings release:

The Sydney Kings are excited to announce that 2015 second round NBA Draft pick, guard Marcus Thornton, has agreed to join the club for the 2015/16 National Basketball League Season.

Thornton was one of the Celtics’ four 2015 draft picks. Terry Rozier and R.J. Hunter have guaranteed contracts as first-round picks, and second-rounder Jordan Mickey agreed to a guaranteed deal.

That commits Boston to 16 players for next season, one more than the regular-season limit. So, Thornton playing a year overseas avoids making this situation even sticker.

Thornton could have forced the Celtics’ hand by accepting their required tender, a one-year contract teams must extend to keep the rights to second-rounders. That surely would have been a non-guaranteed minimum deal, and Boston likely would have waived him after training camp.

That would have freed Thornton to negotiate with any team in the NBA. Right now, the Celtics have exclusive rights to sign him – a huge bargaining chip.

So why did Thornton agree to forgo the NBA contract he had on the table? There are a couple logical possibilities:

1. He agreed to do so before the draft. The Celtics knew they’d run into roster-space issues, and they selected the top player on their board who promised to play overseas as a condition of being drafted. That’s quite common.

2. Boston promised him a better contract next year if he delayed signing this year. Again, that’s hardly uncommon.

This is a win for the Celtics. They get to keep the rights to an impressive young athlete who shot well from beyond the arc at William & Mary, and they don’t even have to pay him or use a roster spot on him this season.